Interior’s To-Do List? A Full Plate of Public Lands Issues for Haaland

"The Interior nominee would be the first Native American cabinet secretary if she wins Senate confirmation following hearings that begin Tuesday."

"Public lands are set  to play a pivotal role in the Biden administration’s ambitious climate change agenda. The national parks, wildlife refuges and national recreation areas overseen by the U.S. Department of the Interior have been little-appreciated as climate solutions, even though they’re crucial sinks for greenhouse gas emissions. But Interior lands are also part of the nation’s climate problem, since they hold vast reserves of fossil fuels that, when extracted and burned, generate climate pollution.

President Joe Biden began dismantling some pro-drilling policies within hours of being sworn in, but applying a climate-action mindset to day-to-day decisions, not only at Interior but throughout the federal government, will take much longer and could prove much harder. With public lands accounting for nearly one-quarter of the nation’s climate pollution, the new administration’s success—and the durability of its agenda—depends partly on clearing away obstacles from the Trump era.

“My hope is that they can walk and chew gum at the same time,” said Jesse Prentice-Dunn, policy director at  the Colorado-based Center for Western Priorities, commenting on the short-term challenge of undoing the Trump pro-development agenda and the longer-term challenge of advancing the new administration’s pro-climate agenda."

Judy Fahys reports for Inside Climate News February 22, 2021.


"Deb Haaland’s Nomination To Lead Interior Is A Historic First For Native Americans. The GOP Wants Biden To Cancel It." (Washington Post)

Source: Inside Climate News, 02/22/2021